Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

What is it? 

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), or Bluetooth Smart, is an energy-saving version of Bluetooth personal area network (PAN). It is the successor of Bluetooth Classic and was introduced to Bluetooth 4.0 as an alternative to its predecessor.  

How does it work? 

Like Bluetooth Classic, BLE employs frequency hopping in a 2.4 GHz unlicensed radio band. This is a wireless technology that lies in repetitive switching of the carrier frequency during radio transmission. The goal is to decrease interference and prevent interception. 

The primary difference between Bluetooth Low Energy and its predecessor is that BLE maxes out at only 1 Mbps while consuming just 0.01 to 0.5 watts. It amounts to 1/3 of Bluetooth Classic’s speed and, at most, 1/2 of power. This results in long battery life and low cost of BLE technology. 

Where is it used? 

As an alternative to Zigbee, Z-Wave, and LPWAN, BLE serves the below-listed purposes: 

  • Fitness tracking with the help of smart appliances. 
  • Indoor location tracking through navigation systems. 
  • Contact tracing with the aim of occupancy management. 
  • Employee safety tracking, e.g., over fall detection systems. 
  • Asset tracking in logistics, healthcare, IT, and other sectors. 
  • Real-time system monitoring in the context of smart cities.
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